Could A Dog Improve Your Lifestyle?

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Getting a dog is not a decision anyone should take lightly. After all, you are going to be responsible for this companion for a long time to come. Yet it has to be said that getting a dog can bring amazing benefits to your lifestyle and even health. Getting a dog might well bring about a whole lot of unexpected changes. Here are a few thoughts to encourage you to take up with a canine companion.

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A dog will make you healthier.

If you are one of those busy ‘live for work’ types, then a dog could well save your life. Having a dog is proven to help people relax. Simply by stroking a dog, we get a sense of calm and enjoyment. Having a dog around makes for an all round less stressful environment. Exercising a dog will make you fitter. It’s a fact. Dogs not only like to walk, they love to run. Your dog could be a great companion as well as the perfect excuse to get out there and enjoy the outdoors. Dogs are great around water as well, so if you are into any form of water sports, who could be a better companion?

A dog is a great learning curve.

Owning a dog can open your eyes to empathy and education. Dogs are intelligent and instinctive animals. The more you find out about them the more their behaviour is intriguing. Learning about diet and pet behavior from a website such as Pet-Nificent can help you educate yourself about your dog.

A dog will make you more social.

As soon as you take on a dog, you become an automatic member of a great club. You’ll meet other dog owners and strike up an instant bond. Your dog is above all a social animal and will love to play with other dogs. Undertaking dog training will not only help you learn about your dog and his behaviour. It will also allow you to meet other owners and share your newfound enthusiasm. Take your dog to your office and everyone will love you!

A dog is a faithful companion

Wherever you are, your dog will be your loyal companion. He or she will also look after your welfare and your safety. Where you go, your dog will follow fearlessly. If for some reason you can’t take your dog, then they will wait faithfully for your return and always be glad to see you! A dog can cheer up even the most miserable of days.

Dogs are cute and funny.

A dog is simply waiting to be loved, played with and enjoyed; they can bring out the best in most people. A dog doesn’t have to be a big or even a huge expense. Tiny dogs make the headlines, and cute small dogs can even be carried around. Bigger dogs are adorable, and every single dog has a great personality and unique charm.

The fact is it is hard to see a reason how or why you shouldn’t welcome a dog into your life. Giving a home to a canine friend might well be one of the best things that you could ever do.

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Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK – Activity Sheets and Sneak Peek #JungleBook

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JB_Triptych_1-Sht_Full_Online_v4_rev_lgAnimals + a beloved story = Disney’s The Jungle Book! I can’t wait to see how Disney brings this classic story to life!

Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire. The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.

The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016.

“The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, who embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.

Check out these fun printable activities-

jungle book maze

jungle book hexagon

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THE JUNGLE BOOK opens in theatres everywhere in 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D on April 15th!


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Disney’s Pete’s Dragon Sneak Peek #PetesDragon

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Here’s a first look at Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, a live action movie coming to theaters in August 2016.D07A3C5F-1F69-4378-BBB5-D62019FE9C3B

A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.

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Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford

Director: David Lowery

Screenplay by: David Lowery & Toby Halbrooks

Based on a story by: Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field

Producer: Jim Whitaker

Executive Producer: Barrie M. Osborne

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.

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Disney’s Zootopia Clips and Fun Printables #Zootopia

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Only a few more days until Disney’s newest animated movie arrives. I can’t wait to take my girls to see Zootopia! Here are some fun clips and printables.
“Arriving” Clip:

“Fur of a Skunk” Clip:

“Elephant in the Room” Clip:

“Meet Clawhauser”

“Have A Donut”

“Assistant Mayor Bellwether”

Check out these fun printables. Click on the image or the link below to print the full versions.

zootopia coloring pageszootopia-coloring-pages

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zootopia animal tracks gamezootopia-pawprint-match-up

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ZOOTOPIA opens in theatres everywhere on March 4th!

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Easy Guide To Your Home Deep Clean

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Let’s face it, it has to be done. The end of winter is not far away in the Northern Hemisphere at least. With the tail end of winter, there’s a need and an urge that creeps up on most people. It is time to get rid of the cold but also the grime and the accumulation of all that damp mold and residue outside the house. The inside of the house is no better with the dust and dirt that has built up while the windows have been shut and the fire blazing. It is time to spring into action outside and in and get the house and home ready for the upcoming season.

The roof bears the brunt of the winter weather. It not so much about cleaning up here. Just check that the roof tiles and slates are intact. The guttering might do with a clean, however. Remove any debris that has built up over the season. Wipe or wash off any mold or algae and check to see that all guttering is secure and intact.

Walls and Windows

All that rain and wind, damp and moisture brings with it a coating of grime. Hire or invest in a power washer. Use it to spray walls and wash windows and conservatories. Start at the top and work your way down, rinsing off as you go. Use the power wash to spray any concrete or patio areas. Apply the same process to the garage and driveway. Finish off windows with a careful wipe and leather. Wipe down and clean doors and frames.

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Inside the house.

Getting stuck into a good deep clean now will really help busy moms. It will make day to day cleaning easier and quicker. Most walls and ceilings are likely to have accumulated a lot of grime over the winter. Get those doors and windows open and clear both walls and ceilings of hangings, decorations, and even pictures. Use a good non abrasive cleaner. Sugar soap works well. Make sure that gloves are worn to protect hands. Wipe and rinse down ceilings and walls. It is surprising what comes off!

Turn your attention to the windows and surrounds. Again it can be a good idea to clear all surfaces. The windows collect a lot of dirt due to condensation forming and leaving a residue.

Carpets and Upholstery

There is no denying that this is a big job. There is a choice. Either hire the equipment and set aside a day, at least, to work your way around the house. Alternatively, why not get a quote from a professional company such as Xtreme Clean? They will come and do the whole job for you. That could save you a huge amount of time and effort.


This is another area where a deep clean is essential and very rewarding. Pay particular attention to tiles and grouting. This is a prime area for the buildup of soap scum and even mold. Treat chrome areas and down in those hard to reach places such as behind the toilet bowl and in the sink.

Congratulations. It may not have been pleasant, but you have done it for another year. It just is one of those jobs. And in spite of everything, admit that it feels strangely satisfying.

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Healthy Foods You Can Make Better at Home

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Do you feel like you don’t ever have time to make things from scratch at home? You probably have a lot of jars and cans in your kitchen, which are so convenient to open and use. But do you know what’s in them? Even supposedly healthy foods can be not so healthy when you buy them from the store. They can contain preservatives, added sugar or other ingredients you might not expect. It’s not that they’re going to kill you, but they aren’t as healthy as they could be. Making these products at home could save you money and make them healthier. You’ll need a bit of spare time, but they can still be quick and simple.

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Nut Butter and Nut Milk

Alternatives to dairy products have grown in popularity in recent years. Some people use them because of a food intolerance and some because of a dietary preference. Some people just like them and enjoy experimenting. One of the things you can find on the market is nut milks, such as almond or hazelnut milk. You can easily make these at home, as well as nut butter, including peanut butter. To make nut milk you need to soak nuts overnight and strain them through a muslin cloth. Nut butters are as easy as putting roasted nuts and a little oil through a food processor. You can add salt, sugar, honey or even cocoa too.

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Dips are great to have with fruit, crackers, chips, and other snacks. Dishes like hummus, guacamole, and salsa are so easy to make at home. To make hummus super simple, you can get hummus recipe kits. The chickpea-based dip is so tasty if you make it at home. Both guacamole and salsa are cheaper to make at home instead of buying. Plus, you have the bonus of being about to make it how you like it. If it you like it spicier, salty or even sweet, you can control the flavor. And everything will be as fresh as you can get it.

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You might think that making cheese isn’t something that’s possible to do on a small scale at home. But soft cheeses are actually simple to achieve. Two of the types you can try are ricotta and mozzarella. You could also have a go at making paneer, which is used a lot in Indian and other South Asian cuisines. If you’re not sure how to get started with these cheeses, buy a cheese making kit. Once you’ve done your first bath, it will be easy to do it on your own.

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Condiments and Preserves

A lot of the things in our pantries are condiments and preserves that are so easy to make ourselves. For example, mayonnaise can take a matter of seconds to whip up. Things like mustard, jam and pickles take longer, but they can be so easy. The great thing about a lot of preserves is you can make big batches. Once you’ve sealed your food in sterilized jars or bottles, they can keep for months.

Making your own food at home can save you plenty of money, even if it doesn’t save you time. Try these foods to stock your kitchen with healthier dishes.


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Need Help For Fussy Eaters?

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Children everywhere will have their ‘moments’ when it comes to eating. Most will grow out of it or become more accepting of a wider range of foods over time. But sometimes, kids can be so stubborn! As a parent, it is easy to worry about how much nutrition a child is getting. It’s natural, but often no cause for concern. However, if your child is determined to be a picky eater, there are plenty of ideas out there to help:


One of the best ways to get kids to eat their dinner is to keep offering the same foods over and again. Let your kids see you eating and enjoying those vegetables with each meal. Presenting the things they refuse to try will eventually wear them down. It may take twenty or more times of seeing it on their plate before they give it a go, so don’t give up.

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Understanding more about the foods they fear can help them become more familiar. Humanizing vegetables and fruits help to give them friendly characters that kids can grow to like. Show them pictures, TV shows, movies and books that feature the foods they’re fussy about. Coloring in pictures, or making stuffed toys in vegetable shapes can help too!

Hidden Gems

Sometimes parents feel very strongly that a child should be eating a particular type of food. They may even endeavor to hide it in their child’s favorite dishes. This can be a great way to make sure they’re eating a wide range of foods. Pureed fruit and veggies can make lovely sauces over pasta, for example.

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The excitement of eating out can be a great way to encourage more rounded eating. The crew at La Vera Pizza say that Italian pizzas can cater for lots of different tastes. And what child doesn’t like the idea of eating pizza? Whether you make your own at home, or head to an award winning restaurant, pizza can be a great way to enjoy veggie toppings.

Food Combos And Good Trades

Other techniques for helping a child to enjoy a wholesome meal is to try combining the different flavors on the plate. One vegetable with a piece of meat will taste different to another vegetable combined with a french fry. You could ask your child to describe the textures using words like squishy, chewy, crunchy, or juicy. Combos can be made with colors, textures, food types, or anything else your child might happily explore.

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Good trades can help your child find reward in eating something that he doesn’t like the taste of. A spoon of peas for a spoon of pudding when he’s finished. Or maybe a spoon of carrots for a spoon of jello. You don’t need to provide more sweets or treats than you were already prepared to serve. But a measurable reward for effort can sometimes be a great motivator.

Kids are fussy at times. So are some adults! But if we keep eating something, we might soon grow to love it. Enjoy your meal.

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3 Telltale Signs That Your Loved One Is An Alcoholic And Needs To Go To Rehab

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Suspecting a loved one of being an alcoholic can be a scary and upsetting revelation. There could be a number of reasons why this conclusion has become apparent. Maybe he or she has been stealing to fund their addiction or find any excuse to go out drinking. Maybe they spend their evenings drinking alone to hide their problems from their loved ones. Whatever the reason for such a cause for concern,  something needs to change. Here are three tell-tale signs that will confirm all suspicions and get them the best help available to recover from their alcoholism.

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They suffer from regular blackout

A significant sign that your loved one is drinking too much is if they suffer from frequent blackouts. Blacking out means that a person is unable to recall the events leading up to them waking up and is a very scary situation to be in. For addicts, this is caused by excessive alcohol consumption. If this is a regular occurrence and they are often found in strange and unsafe locations, this should be a huge red flag. This clearly someone who is unable to control the amount they drink and they need help from a rehabilitation centre. To gain some useful insight they can learn more on this page about a typical day at one of these establishments. This may convince them on the benefits of rehab and how the counselors can help them deal with their issues.

They neglect all of their responsibilities

If a person starts to neglect their responsibilities at home or work, it should be relatively easy to tell. They might miss work or college regularly due to their hangovers and become disinterested with their children. When they are passed out, they are unable to do chores or maintain healthy relationships with those around them. If this is becoming worse over time, it’s time to try discussing their alcohol dependency with them and how it is affecting their family. To learn how to talk in positive and supportive manner, take a look at this page.

They frequently lie about how much they drink

Lying is a common trait with those suffering from alcohol addiction. So if your loved one is constantly lying about how much they drink, alarm bells should be ringing. This is a more difficult sign to spot as many alcoholics become excellent at concealing their issues. Some will even make a joke about how much they drink to throw their family member off the scent. Hiding the severity of their problem could be due to embarrassment or being in denial. Rehab and Residential treatment facilities are equipped to deal with addicts who are in denial. So if there is evidence of mistruths and lies, it’s time to start talking and seeking help.

Alcoholism is a growing problem and the sooner they seek help for their addictions the better. It is not something that will go away with time and it will most likely be the hardest thing they have ever had to overcome. So keep an eye out for these signs in particular and offer support to assist them in seeking treatment as soon as possible.

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16 Ways Of Staying Safe In 2016

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We all want to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. But with so much advice floating around these days, what are the best ways of doing this?

The fact is that nowhere is entirely safe. This goes for our homes, our offices and our online spaces. It applies to the way we travel, and where we travel too. However, there are ways to increase your safety to a level that allows you to relax and enjoy life properly. Read on for 16 methods everybody should be using to stay safe in 2016.

Use complicated passwords

Password hacking is becoming more and more effective. A password that is complicated is far harder to crack than one that is not. A good password should combine letter, numbers and characters.

Learn a form of self-defense

While many people will never have to use self-defence training, there is no harm in having it to hand. Kickboxing, Karate, Jiu-Jitsu are all fantastic. They can be learned as part of a group or in individual one-to-one sessions. Not only do they equip the learner with handy skills, but they also build confidence and improve fitness.

Keep an eye on terror alerts and advice

This website keeps a track of current terror alerts. These can indicate areas that you should avoid travelling to if possible. There is more info on keeping yourself and other safe in the event of a terror attack here.

Park in well-lit and busy areas

Wherever possible, park in areas that are bright and busy. The more visible you are, the less of a target you will be would-be thieves. This goes for both you and your vehicle. Even better, park your car in a garage. This way it’s really protected and will likely bring your car insurance price down.

Install security cameras

Invest in reliable security cameras for your home and business, like those from All Secured Security Services. Security cameras an effective deterrent from crime. Plus they will give you crucial information were something to happen.

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Carry something to defend yourself

The rules of what a person can carry to defend themselves against attack vary from state to state, and country to country. Research what is legal and what is illegal where you live. Personal alarms are legal everywhere, of course, so these are a very good option.

Keep a close eye on your bank account

If money starts going missing from your account, it will be a lot easier to recover the sooner you notice. Don’t let you banks account sit unchecked; take a look every so often to ensure that everything is as it should be.

Use common sense

This might sound like an obvious one, but it really is true. Dark streets are less safe than lit streets. Walking in groups is generally safer than walking alone. Similarly, if a situation arises, do your best to think logically, as opposed to emotionally.

Check your doors and windows every night

It’s amazing how many people don’t have this as part of their nightly routine. Get into the habit of ensuring every external window and door in your home is locked before you go to sleep. If a burglar finds one open, you’re making their entry and subsequent crime far easier for them.

Don’t be the hero if you can’t actually help

It’s natural to want to help if you see something bad happening. But trying to be a hero can do more harm than good. If there is a house-fire for example, and the fire crew have already arrived, do not interfere. By entering the fire yourself, you are potentially putting a crew member’s life at risk in trying to rescue you.

Let the emergency services do their job

On a similar vein to the point above, you should only emulate the actions of a police force or ambulance service until they arrive. Moving an injured person can result in dire consequences, for example. Do not get involved past your areas of expertise. Let the trained professional do their jobs.

Protect yourself from date-rape drugs

This point goes for both men and women. When you’re out drinking, keep your beverage close at hand. Even better, if you have a bottle, keep your thumb over the opening. This way you will know that nobody has slipped anything sinister into your drink.

Use apps to monitor your whereabouts

We have our phones on us most of the time, so it makes sense to use them to keep us safe. There are some fantastic apps out there to do just that. Watch Over Me is one such free app. You can instruct it to track your location via GPS for however long you choose. Then, if you haven’t checked in by the end of that time, it notifies your emergency contacts. It can do this by text, email or even via social media.

Don’t show off your expensive items

If you have a beautiful new piece of jewellery or a watch, you’ll be tempted to show it off. But be careful. Doing so could attract unwanted attention. In nightclubs, for example, it is dark and crowded. This is the ideal environment for a thief to steal something you were showing your friends earlier.

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Only use registered taxi companies

Getting into an unregistered taxi or cab is always a terrible idea. No matter what the driver may say to you, never chance it. Always keep a handful of numbers in your phone in case the first couple you call are busy. If you are in a dangerous situation and everyone says they are busy, explain to the person you’re speaking to that you’re feeling unsafe. The may be able to get someone to you sooner, or have a backup service they can deploy. Even better, book your taxi before you leave home.

Listen to your gut

There is no way to keep yourself 100% safe. In those situations, listen to your gut. If something doesn’t seem quite right, trust your instincts.

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4 Ways To Improve Your Home’s Security

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When you enter your home, it should feel like the safest and secure place in the world. But when a home burglary occurs, your once beloved home can now feel completely different. The thought of a stranger going through your belongings and walking through your home is enough to make anyone feel vulnerable. You understandably want to protect your family from the distress and upset that a burglary can bring. While installing an alarm system is a fantastic first step, there are plenty of other things you can do to reduce the risk of a break in. Here are four techniques you can use to keep burglars at bay, create you a more secure home and give you peace of mind.5236779714_483102fede_z


Check your windows regularly

It’s likely that you’ve got plenty of windows on your property. As terrifying as it may sound, your windows could make the ideal entry way to burglars. So it’s vital that you regularly go outside the front and back of your home and check each window. Try to think of it from a burglar’s point of view. Ask yourself questions such as can you see inside? or can someone reach that open window? If you’ve experienced dry or wet weather, this could make wooden window frames easy to dismantle. So check each window frame and look for broken panes that could make it easy to get inside. This activity may make you realise that your windows are actually making your home an easy target. Now you know this, you can set about making them more secure. You could look into frosted glass, adjustable window bars or secure roller shutters for your home. On top of these new security features, make sure you check every window before you go to bed or leave the house to ensure it is locked.


Use your phone to help you

Whether you believe it or not, your smartphone can actually assist your home’s security. There are apps you can download that will are designed to keep your home safe and secure while you are away. You can find apps that you can use to turn the lights in your home off and on, so it always looks like someone is home. You can also download apps that will act as a silent alarm system which can alert you if someone has entered your home. If you don’t have the funds for an expensive surveillance system, you can also use your phone. Some apps connect to your computer’s webcam that can stream live video feeds straight to your phone. The possibilities are endless, and some of the apps are completely free of charge. They are particularly useful when you’re on vacation or having to stay late at work. Just remember to keep your phone fully charged and ensure you have a strong internet connection to keep you up to date throughout the day.


Keep your garden in pristine condition

This might seem like an odd tip. But a wild and overgrown garden is the perfect hiding place for thieves. It may also tell that they you are not around very often to keep your garden maintained. So it’s time to start giving your yard the attention it deserves. It it’s been awhile since you did any gardening and pruning, hire a gardener or tree surgeon to help you. This can cut back branches or plants that have become too overgrown and give you more space as a result. It also gives you the opportunity to look for any gaps in your walls, gates or fences. These could be ideal access points for burglars so if you find any, fill them up as soon as possible. You could also introduce gravel paths that make a noise when walked upon. This can also put of thieves as the noise from the gravel can make their presence known. Remember you need to do this maintenance process on both front and back of your property. Continue to maintain your garden to remove any hiding places and entry ways that could make your home an easy target.

You could also consider using the plant’s in your yard as a deterrent. Thorny and abrasive plants can make it difficult for burglars to climb walls and gain access to windows. So research which plants might offer some additional security to your home and get them planted as soon as possible.


Hide your spare key in a smart place

We all have spare keys to our homes; that act as a backup if we lose our first set through loss or theft. Many people will hide this key outside so even if they do get robbed, they will still be able to enter their homes. But placing this key somewhere obvious such as under a doormat or on top of a window frame makes it easy for a burglar to walk right in. So think carefully about where you could hide your spare key without allowing easy access to thieves. You could put it inside a small Tupperware box and bury it in a particular spot. Or tape it to the inside of an old shoe that you keep outside. Try to be inventive and let your family know about the secret spot, just in case they need to get in. Once you have got back into your home, you need to arrange for a locksmith to change the locks as soon as possible and have another spare key made. Always remember to put the spare key back into place so it can serve it’s purpose when needed.

With these techniques and ideas, you can make your home a safe place for you and your family. It’s vital that you also let your children know about locking doors and keeping blinds shut. This will make them feel more mature and get them into the habit of doing these tasks. You could even turn it into a game to make it seem less scary. So start making these changes today and continue feeling safe and comfortable in your own home.

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